Community Focus : Claremont - an area without poverty
Residents of Claremont in Hanover will point out to anyone who visits that it is the most fruitful community in the parish, and possibly Jamaica.
Living in Claremont, they say, is like living in an orchard, so nobody goes hungry; employment and literacy is high, and poverty is non-existent. It is a close-knit community, where the people are mainly tradesmen, farmers and fishermen.
"The people are very much employed; unemployment is not a factor. The only persons in Claremont who are not employed are the persons who do not want to be employed," president of the Claremont Upliftment Team, Narval Hall told WESTERN STAR.
"There are a lot of lands, you know, hundreds of acres full of fruit trees surrounding the community.
"First time people used to come in and buy yam by the truckload; you don't have that again ... because we have so many fruit trees now, people just go around and pick the fruits and sell. They hardly cultivate again," he explained.
There are hundreds of acres of fruit trees in Claremont, among them various varieties of mangoes, breadfruit, avocados, ackee, cocoa, plums and countless others. Soursop and pimento trees seem to be almost everywhere.
Claremont is expected to be abuzz with activity during the upcoming pimento season, when trucks from spice companies across Jamaica make the trek up the hill to purchase the berries.
"When pimento time come, up here full a truck and di community lock dung because everybody pick pimento," pimento farmer Joel Stewart said.
Located only a few miles from the town of Lucea, Claremont overlooks Point Estate and is the site of the third-highest mountain peak in Hanover, after Birch's Hill and the Dolphin Head Mountain Peak.
Claremont was established after the abolition of slavery in 1838, when 60 families settled there. It is also the birthplace of former Governor General Professor Kenneth Hall.